Brazil's JBS, the world's largest meat company, now controls 25 per cent of Australia's beef industry after buying Australian Meat Holdings, Tasman Group, and Rockdale Beef between 2007 and 2010, plus Andrews Meat and Primo in 2014.
Australia's second largest beef processor, Teys Bros, merged with Cargill Australia's beef division in 2011 creating a joint venture which controls another 21 per cent. Cargill, the world's largest grain trader, second largest meat packer, and US's largest private corporation, also bought AWB (Australian Wheat Board) in 2011.
JBS and Cargill have both been criticised for clearing Amazon rainforest to produce soy for animal feed.
Find out about your meat and its story, support local meat suppliers, source farm-gate produce.
The vast majority of cattle in Australia are grass-fed. However 80% of the beef sold in supermarkets and butcher shops is 'feedlot finished' (fattened with grain). Each animal has five to 10 square metres of space in a pen of 50 to 200 cattle. In these cramped conditions, cattle are forced to stand and sleep in their own manure and endure extremes of weather.
Close confinement means a much higher risk of disease so antibiotic drugs are routinely used. Grain feed commonly causes their digestive systems to be acidic.
Talk to your butcher and ask for grass-fed, chemical free meat from a local producer.
Buy grass-fed online
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